I don't really have any profound comments for this recipe, other than I just really wanted to combine pecans, caramel, shortbread and chocolate into something delicious. They were delicious!
I owe my mom and dad a big thank you though, because they got me a food photography "How-To" book, that I immediately read upon receiving. I had to make something today so that I could try out all the tips, so that was really motivating my baking today. Sadly, by the time I was done baking, I had lost almost all the daylight, but I worked with what I had, I will have more chances to practice. It was so fun to implement what I learned, and hopefully my photos will continue to improve.
Salted Caramel Pecan Shortbread Bars
(Adapted from The Joy of Baking's Shortbread Cookies)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
(Adapted from Chewy Caramel from All Recipes)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 pound light brown sugar
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces roasted and salted pecan halves, broken up
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- course sea salt
- Line a 9x13 in. baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure it extends up all four sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl cream butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugars and cream together for another minute, until smooth.
- Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated well.
- Add the flour, corn starch, and salt and mix until just combined.
- Using your hands or a spatula, press the dough into the prepared pan until it is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden.
- While the shortbread cookies, in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Heat to between 242 and 245 degrees F. Cook for 2 minutes at that temperature. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
- Once the shortbread is out of the oven and has cooled slightly, evenly distribute the pecan pieces over the entire shortbread.
- Once the caramel is done, poor it evenly over the pecans/shortbread, making sure all of it is covered.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the entire caramel surface and allow to sit until they all turn shiny, which means they have melted. Once they have melted, use a knife or offset spatula and evenly coat all the caramel with the chocolate until none of the caramel can be seen.
- Allow to cool on the counter for several hours, sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt,and then place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes, just until the chocolate hardens.
- Remove from fridge, lift out using the parchment paper and place on a flat surface. Using a large, sharp knife, cut in to approximately 72 pieces (6 rows by 12 rows).
- Enjoy or put in fridge to continue to set up. Store in refrigerator.